INTI Institute of Higher Studies

A Pinch of Kindness Can Bring Us a Long Way

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts do not always need to be work towards long-term goals that will take years to complete. Sometimes, it can be more effective to focus on a problem that is happening right now and that was how ‘Secubit’ was initiated.

‘Secubit’, a collaboration with ADYA Empowerment Association and 99 Speedmart, is a CSR programme organised by INTI International College Subang’s Pre-University (Pre-U) programmes’ students and lecturers by joining hands together with other faculties; Centre of Postgraduate Studies, Centre of American Education, School of Hospitality, and School of Business.

Addressing Sustainable Development Goal 2, Zero Hunger, this effort will support 200 families in Subang Jaya who fall under the B2 category.

“The B2 category is a cluster further broken down from the B40 group. According to the Household Income & Basic Amenities Survey Report 2019 by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), the income classifications have been revised to reflect inflation, rising cost of living and household size amongst a host of other factors,” said Punitha Sivanantham, a lecturer at the Pre-U School and also coordinator of the ‘Secubit’ programme.

The median income earned by families from the B2 category is between RM2,501 and RM3,169. There has always been a gap between the lowest-earning and highest-earning income groups but has it worsened?

According to research done prior to organizing the CSR programme, Punitha and her team discovered that the gap between these two groups has further deteriorated, hence why, ‘Secubit’ popped up in their minds.

Punitha shared, “The COVID-19 pandemic has majorly affected the income of many Malaysians. Last year, one in three employees reported a salary reduction greater than 30%. As of April 2021, the unemployment rate stands at 4.6% higher than the statistics recorded in May 2020. Usually, the B40 and M40 households are more vulnerable to loss of employment compared to T20 households, which has further affected the income gap between these groups.”

“We have joined hands with ADYA Empowerment Association to identify families in need living in Subang Jaya. These families will receive groceries purchased from 99 Speedmart through the initiatives put together by our students and lecturers. Collectively, we are targeting to raise RM12,000 via this project to fulfil our dreams of aiding them,” Punitha also stated.

One such initiative is a virtual run organized by the pre-university students.

Bryan, a pre-university student elaborated, “The proceeds from the virtual run will be channeled to the funds to help the identified families. Besides completing 3km by 15th November at one’s own convenience, an individual participating in this run will be privileged to lessen a family’s burden even if it’s just for a while.”

He further added, “Participants will be entitled for a discount if they invite their family and friends to virtually run with them. Like the saying goes, the more, the merrier! Keeping fit while lending a helping hand is an opportunity to grab. Therefore, I would like to encourage my peers to join us to highlight those in need during these trying times.”

Bryan also shared that participants of the virtual initiative will be presented an e-certificate at the end of the run.

The students from these various faculties also organized a T-shirt sale, ‘Sponsor a Family’ campaign, E-Sports Tournament, Virtual Fitness Classes, Eco tote bags sale, thrift cloth sales, ‘Tap to Help’ campaign and other initiatives to raise funds for this project.

“The Centre of Post-Graduate studies initiated a Coventry University T-shirt sale and ‘Sponsor a Family’ campaign. The participants were mainly postgraduate students who donated effortlessly by purchasing Coventry University t-shirts at a marked up price. Some of them chose to top-up the amount by sponsoring an underprivileged family with grocery items. This event paved way for staff and students to work together on a common goal. We look forward to wearing our new t-shirts to campus once physical classes resume” said Dr. Sumitha Ganesharatnam, Senior Lecturer of Postgraduate studies and also the project coordinator of the ‘Secubit’ programme.

On the other hand, Ishak Razin Wong, a student from the e-sport tournament organizing team shared, “The E – sports tournament for popular games such as Valorant and League of Legends were held to raise funds for the B40 families. 32 teams of 5 can register to participate for only RM15 each. The winner of the tournaments will receive a cash prize worth RM300. Raising funds while having fun with your team is a win on both sides wouldn’t you say? You might meet a new friend who can be your long-time needed gaming buddy. So again, what is there not to love? Participating in a tournament for a prize while simultaneously raising funds is definitely a great deal to seal.”

“INTI has always been a platform for our students to learn and grow in various ways. ‘Secubit’ is a meaningful way to teach empathy and to care for our fellow staff and students because sending over life’s necessities is such a concrete way to give,” Punitha concluded.